The Top 10 Candidates for the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor continues this week with a new candidate. To review the profiles of the previous candidates, please click here.
Looking back on the History of the Cowboys there have been many impact players. The standards that have been set for the Ring of Honor are very high. Only the elite are chosen to be enshrined. I decided to write about a guy who I feel has never gotten the recognition he deserved. But, when you played in the shadow of Cliff Harris it is easy to be overlooked by many.
Charlie Waters was born on September 10th, 1948 in Miami Florida. He began his football career at Augusta High School as a wide receiver. He was later moved to the quarterback position where he became good enough to play in the 1965 Shrine Bowl. He went on to get a scholarship from Clemson University, and by his junior year he was competing with Billy Ammons for the starting job. He earned 3 letters from 1967-1969. He was later moved to split end and went on to be an All-ACC selection in 1969 as a wide receiver.
Waters was never one of the strongest or fastest players, but he was very athletic and had a high football IQ. During his Clemson career, he caught 68 passes for 1,196 yards and a 17.1 yard average, with four touchdown receptions. More than 40 years later, Waters still ranks eighth all-time for yards per reception and eighteenth all-time in receiving yards. Waters was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1981. He also was inducted into the North Augusta and South Carolina halls of fame.
Waters was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1970 NFL Draft. In spite of the fact that (much like Drew Pearson) some of the staff wanted to release him in training camp, Landry, who was always known as the “Great Innovator”, saw his talent and decided to try an experiment and convert him to a defensive back.
Charlie went on to make the roster as a back up to Cliff Harris as a free safety. He ended up starting 6 games when Harris had to serve military duty. He impressed Landry by snagging 5 interceptions that season. He went on to make the All-Rookie team as a free safety in 1970. The Cowboys went on to lose Super Bowl V that year.
Waters was buried on the depth chart for 4 years as a backup, but in 1975 he finally got a shot as the starting strong safety to replace the legendary Cornell Green. He went on to make 3 interceptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys made it to Super Bowl X that year and lost to the Steelers.
Jan 18, 1976; Miami, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker (58) Jack Lambert reacts to Dallas Cowboys safety (43) Cliff Harris after Harris patted Steelers kicker (10) Roy Gerela on the helmet after missing a 2nd quarter field goal during Super Bowl X at the Orange Bowl. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys 21-17 to earn their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl title. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Malcolm Emmons- US PRESSWIRE Copyright Malcolm Emmons
In 1976 he was selected as an All-Pro playing along side Cliff Harris. The two would prove to be one of the best and most feared safety tandems in the history of football. Waters was selected as an All-Pro twice (1977 and 1978) and to the Pro Bowl three consecutive seasons (1976-1978). They didn’t keep track of tackles for him, but in only 62 starts he logged 2 safeties and 41 interceptions for 584 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He played 12 seasons with the Cowboys and he never experienced a losing season. The Cowboys only missed the playoffs one time during that time. He played in five Super Bowls: V, VI, X, XII, and XIII, with victories in VI and XII.
To this day he still holds the NFL record for the most post season interceptions with 9. He remains one of the greatest Cowboys of all time.
Waters was nominated for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 2001, but he didn’t get elected. After retirement he also had a pretty solid career as a coach. In 2006, the Cowboys hired him to be the new color commentator for the Cowboys Radio Network, working next to Brad Sham when the former color commentator Babe Laufenberg (ex Cowboys quarterback) resigned his post to spend time with his family. Outside of football, he currently works with longtime teammate Cliff Harris at a gas marketing company. If there is anyone who deserves to be enshrined in the Cowboys Ring Of Honor, It is Charlie Waters. So My question to you Mr. Jerry jones is:
"“Why Isn’t Charlie Waters In The Dallas Cowboys Ring Of Honor?”"
SportDFW would like to thank CowgirlCas from the Landry Hat for contributing the profile of Charlie Waters. You can check out more of her informative articles about the Cowboys here.